Tokyo stocks advanced for the fourth straight day Friday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index rising 0.92 percent on increased investor optimism on hopes the central bank here will announce further easing measures and on news the European Central Bank opted to maintain its interest rate.
Brokers here also pointed to upbeat U.S. economic data as adding market support, specifically the U.S. Labor Department report showing that weekly applications for unemployment benefits had fallen more than expected, fueling increased hopes for further positive jobs data due out from the department later Friday.
Takuya Takahashi, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. noted that the latest jobs data from the U.S. added to investor optimism for further good news for the monthly jobs data due out later in the day. He added that the market today acted in accordance with the upbeat data.
Other analysts pointed to the European Central Bank's decision to keep its key interest rate unchanged and positive remarks by ECB chief Mario Draghi about the eurozone as contributing to optimistic investor sentiment, with Toshikazu Horiuchi, an equity strategist at IwaiCosmo Securities Co. saying that market players were in a risk-on mood.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 139.32 points from Thursday to close the week at 15,274.07, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 8.61 points, or 0.7 percent, to finish at 1,236.97.
With hopes for the Bank of Japan to announce more quantitative- easing measures next week and the U.S. dollar climbing to a one- month high in the lower 103 yen range, a range of issues advanced with exporters in particular benefiting from the yen's depreciation.
As such, Sony added 1 percent to 1,844 yen and Toshiba advanced 0.7 percent to close at 459 yen.
Automaker issues also lifted the market, with Mazda Motor Corp. accelerating 2.7 percent to 493 yen and Honda and Toyota also closing in positive territory.
TDK was also in the spotlight on the last trading day of the week, with the semiconductor device maker jumping 2.2 percent to 4,565 yen, owing to Mizuho upgrading its rating on the stock from "neutral" to "buy."
Trading volume on Friday dropped to 2.07 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, down from Thursday's volume of 2. 24 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones by 1,270 to 373.
Turkish PM threatens to shut down Facebook, YouTube
ANKARA, March 7 (Xinhua) --
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to take further steps to monitor the Internet, including the closure of some social networks, local Today's Zaman reported Friday.
"We are determined that we won't let the Turkish people be sacrificed to YouTube and Facebook," Erdogan told reporters late Thursday, stressing that the two websites were trouble-makers and would be shut down "if necessary."
His comments came just days after a leaked audio uploaded on the Youtube allegedly of Erdogan instructing his son Bilal to dispose of vast amounts of cash amid the ongoing anti-graft probe.
However, Erdogan has denied the authenticity of the recording, saying it was fabricated using techniques and was an "immoral product of montage."
The Turkish parliament approved a much-controversial Internet Law introduced by the ruling Justice and Development Party earlier February.
The most controversial part of the law was empowering the head of the Telecommunications Directorate with the authority to block access to web pages within four hours. The move was widely seen as a government move to increase its control over citizens' online activities.